shelving the issue


Posted by Rebecca, November 30th, 2010

Back in our condo, we had these lovely Pottery Barn crown molding ledges

And I loved them.  We painted them to match our trim, they were 100% sturdy, easy to hang and looked great. Plus they were a place to keep breakable things away from Macky.  I can’t find the MLS pictures from the condo (they’re somewhere on a CD…), but I found some to share.

Shelves on Darwin’s first Christmas with us…

Shelves behind Mike and my best friend at one of our many parties…

They will both probably kill me for this, but this is how I can see if they actually read my blog 😉

So when we sold our condo, they were the one thing I really wanted to bring with us.  I envisioned them over my Ikea Stornas buffet in the dining room.  We didn’t have the buffet yet, but I wanted that thing for YEARS. We got an offer on the condo quickly given the market and it was a great offer.  Mike told me the news and then came the but……….they wanted the shelves written into the contract! My immediate reaction? No. At the time they were discontinued and I wasn’t sure we could find ledges of that quality anywhere.

I came to my senses and gave up the shelves. Here are some shots as we said goodbye to our shelves, the day we handed over the keys to the condo (iPhone quality)…

Of course I couldn’t be so lucky to find a single picture where the 3 of them fit in one shot!!

For months Mike and I considered making them, googled and came up with other solutions (hence the mirror over our buffet).  When suddenly, they were back! Pottery Barn had them again! So sometime in the summer, we went to Pottery Barn and picked up the same exact ones we had… a 2′, 3′ and 4′ ledge.

Flash forward to before Thanksgiving when Mike had a few days off.  One of the items on my Christmas To-Do List was to hang things we’ve already purchased, shelves included.  He nicely offered to hang the shelves while I was at work, but wanted to know where to put them.  In that moment, I walked into the dining room and had cold feet about our 2, 3 and 4 foot arrangement.  Over the past few months, I’ve seen my style change, which is a good thing.  I’m learning more, finding more sources and branching out.  I think this shelf arrangement has fallen prey to my evolution.

So here’s where I once again beg for your assistance, since you guys were so overwhelmingly wonderful with my area rug plea.  I think want to keep the crown molding ledge theme, since we have a lot of molding in the room and I think it would look nice, though these Rustic Wood shelves are fabulous…

Okay they both come in the same sizes, so how should I arrange them? Here are the approximate measurements…

I think I’m leaning towards two 4 foot ledges, so I have enough space in between them to put larger frames, taller vases, etc.  Plus I think it would look much cleaner than having multiple sizes.

How would you arrange them? And since I came up with a new question while writing this post, Crown Molding or Rustic Wood?

I hope I grow out of my indecisive phase soon… 🙂

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11 Responses to “shelving the issue”

  1. Mike says:

    Just so you all know, I’m rapping in that picture.

    And yes, I do parties, graduations, weddings and even the occasional bar mitzvah.

  2. Oh nooooooo!!! I wish I knew how to help! I always wimp out on decisions like this and let my husband decide. Have you ever seen Mad TV? The skits with the man-boy Stuuuuuart? haha if you have… That’s paul. “Let ME do it!!!!!” So alas, I get to go decision free and he gets to do what he wants.

    Best of luck! <3 now decorating them — that I can help with =)


  3. I like both options and am leaning towards the molding idea, but I also think that these shelves from West Elm could coordinate with your wine racks (and they’re on sale):

    They’re only 3.5 inches deep instead of 5, though, which may not be deep enough for what you want to put on them.

    Also, I think I’d hang them with the 3′ on top, the 2′ in the middle and the 4′ on the bottom. Then if you hang the 3′ to one side and the 2′ to the other side you’d have room on one side of the 4′ shelf for larger frames, etc. (Hope my description makes sense!)

    I’m ridiculously indecisive sometimes, so don’t feel bad!

    • Speaking of indecisive, I really like our Ikea picture ledges (, but I kind of want to do staggered shelves now. Maybe I should do something like your shelves in our dining room (becuse I’m pretty sure Robert would roll his eyes at me if I wanted to change our ledges)? (

      • Rebecca says:

        Hm I think you can definitely put them in the dining room! I love using shelves, it gives you so much more flexibility with what you can use to decorate the walls. Plus they’re cat proof and I can put more breakable things up there. In our condo we had shelves in the living room, office and bathroom and we’ll probably do the same here!

        If you have a spare bathroom wall, we got deeper shelves and used them for spare hand towels folded neatly, a nice tissue box, some candles… and we loved them! I think I’m definitely going to do something like that again for our powder room. Towels are so cheap to use to add some color!

    • Rebecca says:

      Oooh metal… I didn’t think of that! I always forget that West Elm has shelves and furniture. I usually think of them more for pillows/curtains/bedding. I’m going to have to investigate those! Thanks for the input 🙂

      • I’ve been on a serious West Elm kick recently, it’s weird! Although, it’s usually “ooh that’s really cute! … I wonder if Ikea has something similar that’s more in our price range?” But then, I go back and forth between being cheap and splurging on things I know will last.

        Also, I saw a few of the molding type ledges at HomeGoods last night, but it didn’t look like they had many lengths (also the ones I saw were black, but that could easily be painted), and we have a couple that my mom got from Target years ago.

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